NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Just like that, the Jason Kidd era in Brooklyn is over.
Kidd is set to become Milwaukee’s coach after Brooklyn agreed to a deal Monday with the Bucks, who paved the way for Kidd’s arrival by firing coach Larry Drew, the Nets said.
The Nets will receive second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The 2015 pick was formerly their own.
The team said in a statement that a search for a new coach would begin immediately.
Kidd and the Bucks are negotiating a multiyear deal that will pay him between $4 million and $5 million per season, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.
Kidd is also pursuing permission to bring Nets assistant coach Eric Hughes to Milwaukee with him, Yahoo Sports reported.
Lionel Hollins remains a strong candidate to replace Kidd in Brooklyn, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 30, 2014
Nets could name a new coach by the end of the week. Lionel Hollins remains frontrunner.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 30, 2014
Kidd went 44-38 in his only season as Nets coach, but then sought control of the basketball operations department and was denied. The Nets gave him permission to talk to other teams about a job.
Kidd looks bad, but Bucks look worse — especially if they told Kidd they were moving on from Drew without, you know, telling Drew.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) June 30, 2014
Who knows, maybe next year Jason Kidd will come back and coach the Nets again…
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) June 30, 2014
Larry Drew, who apparently had no idea the Bucks were talking to Kidd about his job, was fired on Monday.
It was a stunningly quick ending to what had been Kidd’s celebrated return to the franchise he twice led to the NBA Finals as a player. The Nets hired him last June as coach just weeks after he retired as a player and retired his No. 5 before a preseason game in October. Also, he bought a small portion of the team.
Bucks are also sending a package of sausages and the last remnants of Larry Drew's bruised ego in this deal with Nets.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 30, 2014
There was no indication Thursday he wouldn’t be back when he appeared at a press conference where the Nets announced plans for their new practice facility.
Milwaukee had the NBA’s worst record last season at 15-67, but there had been nothing to believe Drew wouldn’t return. However, the Bucks have new co-owners in Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, and Lasry and Kidd are friends.
The Nets could choose from a number of quality coaches who are available, including Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Mark Jackson. Yahoo Sports reported Hollins was set to sit down with the Nets sometime in the next few days.
They bypassed experience when they chose Kidd last summer, and the results were ugly early. Kidd removed Lawrence Frank from the bench after lobbying for the Nets to hire his former coach as his lead assistant, then was fined $50,000 by the NBA after intentionally spilling a drink on the court to delay a game.
The Nets started 10-21 with a high-priced, high-expectations team, though regrouped to reach the second round of the playoffs. Kidd won two Eastern Conference coach of the month honors for engineering a turnaround with a small-ball lineup after center Brook Lopez was lost to a broken foot.
He departs Brooklyn now with free agency opening Tuesday and key Nets Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston set to hit the market.
Kidd led the Nets to the 2002 and ’03 NBA Finals and remained a fan favorite even after he became unhappy with the team and was traded to Dallas in 2008. But as much as ownership may have liked him, it wasn’t interested in positioning Kidd above general manager Billy King and giving him the power he sought.
Lasry and Edens had said in announcing the purchase of the team in April that they would evaluate the organization. Lasry spoke to a meeting of Milwaukee-area journalists and business leaders on June 23, before the draft, and afterward told The Associated Press that they were still in the evaluation process.
But the new ownership group had given no indication that Drew or general manager John Hammond might be in trouble after the franchise’s worst season in former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s last year as team owner. Hammond spearheaded the draft evaluation process that landed Milwaukee a potential superstar in Duke forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in the NBA draft.
In Milwaukee, CBS affiliate WDJT-TV reported fans were divided over the move to fire Drew and bring on Kidd. SaveOurBucks.com spokesman Paul Henning — a lifelong Bucks fan — found himself feeling cautiously optimistic, WDJT reported.
“Nobody should really be that surprised that these guys wanted to put their own people in place,” Henning told the station.
But Racine Journal Times sports columnist Gery Woelfel said the dismissal of Drew was handled unprofessionally. He told WDJT he talked with a member of Drew’s staff Monday, who told him they felt the “rug was pulled out from under us.”
“I think Mark Lasry had good intentions, that he thought bringing Jason Kidd here (to Milwaukee) would be a real coup, but it sort of backfired on him,” Woelfel told the station.
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